To combat systemic issues like generational poverty, we work hard to place trained workers into hundreds of quality jobs each year. But to reach this goal, we don’t just stop at employment.
How Cara is helping to break generational patterns through meaningful employment
At Cara, we provide mentoring, job coaching, and training services to help the participants in our program not just land jobs but excel at them. That way, they can build steady careers that grow with their experience. We also maintain businesses including Cara Connects and Cleanslate to create gateway jobs for participants while at the same time providing useful services for our community. Through quality placements and with an abundance of support, our work helps people affected by poverty find productivity in the workforce—transforming their lives and their families’ lives in the process.
But how do we do it? And why? Let us share a bit about our story to help you better understand what Cara’s all about.
What is Generational Poverty?
Unlike situational poverty, in which an individual experiences a temporary setback after a specific life change causes their income and support to decrease, generational poverty occurs when a family lives in poverty for at least two consecutive generations. A complex, decentralized system of economic and social factors sustains this cyclical poverty. When one member of a generation is isolated and excluded from mainstream economic opportunity and the accompanying experiential learning, it can have a sustained and debilitating effect on all members of the family. This lack of exposure and traction toward success can then pass to the next generation—unless intervention takes place to break the cycle.
That’s where Cara comes in. Intervention can take place in any form, but when it’s an intentional introduction to leadership development, access to job opportunities to build experience and practice, and an extensive community that serves as a network of perpetual support, the real and lasting success for that individual and family is modeled for and imprinted upon the next generation.
How Cara Helps Break the Cycle
Our answer is gainful employment—a work situation where a person can expect more than just financial compensation in exchange for their labor, feel confident in the relative stability and predictability of their job, and, at the very least, have their basic living needs met by their net pay. Gainful employment provides individuals with the means to feel a sense of pride, purpose, and growth while building momentum toward a career.
Through our community of support, our participants are connected to quality jobs, enabling them to better themselves, their families, and their communities. That’s why our focus isn’t just on job preparedness and placement, but also on the socio-emotional and self-actualization skills needed to overcome systemic barriers like generational poverty. Our process is designed to help participants navigate their personalized pathways, ensuring they have the tools they need to hit every milestone on the way to becoming self-sufficient.
Participant Learning at Cara
We help our participants unlock strengths they already possess by giving them the tools and practice needed to translate those abilities to the workplace. Concepts like teamwork, time management, communication, conflict resolution, professionalism, and socio-emotional growth are developed through individual coaching sessions and seminars. Our goal is for these areas to evolve from strengths into skills as they are unearthed, named, refined, and deployed in new arenas. Participants are also given opportunities to analyze and process these experiences and then reflect daily on their learning so that applying what they’ve learned to the real world comes naturally. Through this process, we demonstrate how self-awareness and a productive mindset are central to the continuous growth experienced over the trajectory of a career.
To convey these lessons, we leverage training seminars with individualized long-term coaching and use structures that reflect the workplace environment. Through our program, each participant has the chance to gain reflective insight that will benefit them professionally for years to come. What’s more, this learning doesn’t stop once a participant gets a job. It’s only the beginning. Cara participants don’t graduate until they spend at least one year working with the same long-term or permanent employer—and our coaching work lasts through that first year and beyond.
At Cara, we’re all about helping our participants land and keep meaningful jobs—bettering our shared communities one individual at a time. Help us achieve our mission by donating or becoming an employment partner today!